Uruguay Postpones Online Gaming Discussion Until 2023

Posted: Dec 20, 2022 10:26h.

Last updated: Dec 20, 2022 at 2:32.

Uruguayan parliamentarians appear to have begun to find ways to settle their differences and give the green light to online gambling in the country. However, they failed at the final stage and the project had to wait.

Independence Square of Uruguay
Independence Square in Uruguay in the afternoon. The country’s legislators are heading into recess without moving forward with online gaming laws. (Image: Pinterest)

After the Senate approved the bill, the initiative was submitted to the House Finance Committee. At the time, November 30 was the deadline for resolving disagreements between legislative parties and proposing amendments to the project.

Those days are gone and 20 days into December there is still no agreement. Lawmakers say he is about to go on a three-month long vacation, which means we won’t see any progress until March next year.

there will always be tomorrow

Alvaro Viviano, chairman of the finance committee, told local media. daily The delay is a result of legislators requesting more time to analyze the project. Unless there is a sudden reversal of opinion, it is impossible to vote before the adjournment.”

Bibiano said that, in his opinion, the debate process was already “mature” and that there were “some ideas for pre-consultation” about the proposed amendment. He emphasized that it was nothing close to what he had proposed.

Some politicians want new gambling regulators and legalized sports betting. dailythe members are willing to vote for the project.

Other members of the House basically agree with the Senate version. However, they want simple improvements that are theoretically easier to approve. There are still people who want to completely rewrite the script. In typical political fashion, they would disagree with what the Senate said, which almost guarantees no progress in the current session.

The casino’s national director, Gustavo Anselmi, also participated in the parliamentary debate. He envisions a plan for online gaming operators to pay the same fees as land-based operators, with his office overseeing activities. But some lawmakers are calling for the new organization to take control.

Backlash from land-based gambling operators

The idea of ​​bringing legalized online gambling out of the land-based gambling segment has met with resistance. .

The Enforcement Secretariat of the National Workers’ Congress (PIT-CNT, an acronym in Spanish) expressed concern about the bill’s scope and “economic and social impact”. The organization reportedly told lawmakers that legalized online games would “cause serious harm to society” and cause a “decline in income levels” in the country.

These discussions mirror comments made this October by the National Gambling Workers Federation (Fenaju, an acronym in Spanish). That group also claims that online games cause irreparable harm. That is despite the fact that legislators readily admit that online gaming is already happening in Uruguay. But all that money goes offshore and the state can’t collect taxes.

There is no evidence that the legalization of online games will directly affect the land-based segment. For the most part, retail casinos continue to grow in revenue, as evidenced by results at Atlantic City casinos and elsewhere. This is despite growing interest in online alternatives.

Multiple studies have shown that brick-and-mortar gamblers and online gamblers are two different types of individuals. In other words, online gamblers generally aren’t the ones who prefer to go to retail casinos to begin with.

Uruguay’s online gaming advocates, including government officials, believe the segment could bring in as much as $10 million a year in profits if Congress understands their differences. Until that happens, however, all the money will continue to flow out of the country and very little will go to land-based gambling establishments.

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